Shivarathri Quiz 2012


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Shivarathri Quiz 2012

  1. 1. Celebrating the Night of Lord Shiva…… Gulab
  2. 2. Lord Shiva represents theaspect of the Supreme Being(Brahman of the Upanishads)that continuously dissolves torecreate in the cyclic processof creation, preservation,dissolution and recreation ofthe universe.Lord Shiva is the third memberof the Hindu Trinity, the othertwo being Lord Brahma andLord Vishnu. Gulab
  3. 3. Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy andcompassion. He protects devotees from evilforces such as lust, greed, and anger.He grants boons, bestows grace and awakenswisdom in His devotees. The symbolismdiscussed below includes major symbols thatare common to all pictures and images ofShiva venerated by Hindus.Since the tasks of Lord Shiva are numerous, Hecannot be symbolised in one form. For thisreason the images of Shiva vary significantly intheir symbolism. Gulab
  4. 4. Gulab
  5. 5. Gulab
  6. 6. Shiva Lingam is the holysymbol of Lord Shiva that isconsidered quite sacredand worshipped withdevotion by the devotees.The sanskrit word li.ngammeans symbol, so Shivalingam means symbol ofShiva.It is considered the foremostsacred symbol forshaivaites and has beenworshiped for ages. Gulab
  7. 7. Gulab
  8. 8. Gulab
  10. 10. The first one third of the base stands forBrahma - the aspect of creation in the cosmos.As the creation brings things into theexistence, naturally the process is directedoutward (i.e. towards the object of creation).Since the creation is going on endlessly, thefour directions represent this concept.One can move in each direction withoutreaching the end. This aspect of the Lord iscalled Brahma - the Lord as the Creator and isrepresented by the square cross sectionstanding for four directions. Gulab
  11. 11. The middle one third represents Vishnu - the one that pervades everything in thecreation. The four directions and fourcorners totaling to eight along with upand down directions cover everything andit is indicated by the octagonal middlecross section. Gulab
  12. 12. The top one third represents the Shiva aspect bythe circular cross section indicating theLimitlessness. Though there are three aspectsindicated, the Shiva Linga is one alone and whenworshiped all three inseparable aspects areworshiped.Thus SHIVA and VISHNU are no two differententities!! It is one Limitlessness viewed fromdifferent aspects so mind has a direction tocontemplate. Vishnu is also worshipped and invoked inthe form of Shaligrama (a spherical shape) standingfor the Limitlessness as so is Shiva... Gulab
  13. 13. Gulab
  14. 14. The significance of the Natarajasculpture is said to be that Shiva isshown as the source of allmovement within the cosmos,represented by the arch of flames. Shiva as NatarajaThe purpose of the dance is to release menfrom illusion of the idea of the "self" and ofthe physical world. The gestures of the dancerepresent Shivas five activities, creation(symbolized by the drum), protection (bythe "fear not" hand gesture), destruction(by the fire), embodiment (by the footplanted on the ground), and release (by thefoot held aloft). Gulab
  16. 16. 1. There are many different stories to explain the origin of the Shivaraathri Festival. As we all know, Lord Shiva offered to drink the poison and save the world. His throat is blue ever since, for the poison has pervaded the area. In His 1959 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Swami explained further: “One of the stories is that when He [Lord Shiva] consumed the Haalahaala (death- dealing poison) that emanated from the Ocean of Milk, in response to the prayers of the Worlds, which it threatened to destroy, the heat of the fumes was well nigh unbearable, even for Him.” According to the scriptures, what relief measure was taken to cool Lord Shiva down? A.He had to swim in the Ocean. B. All the Gods united and blew strong winds. C.River Ganga was poured on His matted locks. D.Lord Shiva went into meditation for severalH2H years. Gulab
  17. 17. Correct Answer : C. River Ganga was poured on His matted locks. Swami further explained: "So, it is said, Ganga was poured uninterruptedly on His matted locks - this is the explanation for the Abhisheka (ceremony of pouring consecrated water, oil, milk, etc., on the idol) which is offered in all Shiva temples for hours on end, and in some places, uninterruptedly - but Shiva was only partly relieved. So the cool Moon was placed on the head; that gave some relief. Then, Ganga was placed on the matted locks. That was of great help. After this, Shiva danced with all the Gods, the Taandava dance. That is the story but all this did not happen on a particular day and so Shivaraatri cannot be said to commemorate that day."H2H Gulab
  18. 18. 2. In His 1965 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Swami reminds us: “Do not treat a holy day like Shivaraathri as a holiday, set apart for picnics, cinema, card-games, revelry, rivalry and fun. The rishis (sages) fixed these days in the calendar for the contemplation of God and the service of God in man, for the removal of the weeds of vices and weakening habits.” How does Swami want us to utilize the opportunity of this holy day? A. By reading stories of Lord Shiva. B. Going on pilgrimages. C. By being in isolation and on fast. D. For self-improvement.H2H Gulab
  19. 19. Correct Answer : D. For self-improvement. Swami lovingly guides us: "Do not waste the few days that you are bent on spending at the Prashanti Nilayam, in days of hectic chatter, vain disputation, idle curiosity or restless wandering. Learn the discipline of the place and limit your talk, your association, your comfort, so that you may live in thoughts Divine, not merely in this atmosphere but later, in your own homes. Take delight in the Shanti (peace) of this place; do not disturb it by thought, word or deed. Utilize this rare chance, this unique opportunity, secured by the merit of many births, for self-improvement."H2H Gulab
  20. 20. 3. We all know about the importance of observing a fast and keeping a night-long vigil on the Auspicious Shivaraathri Day. But do we know the inner meaning and the significance of it? In His 1969 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Swami uplifts our consciousness by enlightening us: “Relying on the merely literal meaning of the words, people wait a whole year for this particular holy day to come, in order to miss a meal and call it a fast, to miss a nights sleep and call it a vigil!” What do you think is His say on the true significance of observing a ‘fast’? A. Living with God. B. Control of our palate. C. Giving our body a rest. D. Speaking sweetly and softly.H2H Gulab
  21. 21. Correct Answer : A. Living with God. Swami teaches us further: "The fast is called in Sanskrit as Upavaasa and it means something far more significant than missing a meal! It means (Upa - near; Vaasa - living) Living with, or Living near. With whom? Near whom? Near and with God. Upavaasa means living in the unbroken constant presence of the Lord, by Naamasmarana (remembrance of Divinity); that is the real fast, holding fast to Him. And, Jaagarana (Vigil)! It means keeping awake, shaking off the sleep of the senses and being fully aware of the Light of Love that is the Divine essence, in all. It means, shaking off the drowsiness and laziness, and deep concentration in meditation and sadhana. Look at the word for heart in Sanskrit: hrudayam. It means Hrudi-ayam that is to say, "The Divine Heart"; the place where He resides, where He is installed. By vigilance and the practice of the constant presence of God, you must install Him in your heart and see Him as installed in all other beings as well. That is the main purpose of these holy days and the regulations laid down for their observance."H2H Gulab
  22. 22. 4. Through the years, Swami has demonstrated the Shiva aspect of His Advent as Avatar by blessing us several times with Divine Manifestations of Lingams from His Auspicious Body, called as Lingodhbhavam. On one such 1971 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Bhagavan clarifies: “People ask, „Why does Swami produce the Lingam (Formless Form of God) from within Himself on this day?‟ What reason does Bhagavan reveal for such a formidable act of His? A. To worship Lord Shiva more devotedly. B. To remind us that Divinity is amidst us. C. To continue our fasting every year. D. To amaze us about His powers.H2H Gulab
  23. 23. Correct Answer : B. To remind us that Divinity is amidst us. Swami confirms: "Let Me tell you, it is impossible for you to understand the attributes of the Divine and to measure its potentialities, or, to gauge the significance of the Manifestation of Divinity. It is agamya (unreachable) and agochara (un- understandable, mysterious). Therefore, in order to bear witness to the fact that the Divinity is amidst you, it becomes necessary to express this attribute. Or else, the atmosphere of hatred, greed, cruelty, violence and irreverence will overwhelm the good, the humble and the pious. The Linga is just a symbol, a sign, an illustration, of the beginningless, the endless, and the limitless - for it has no limbs, no face, no feet, no front or back, no beginning or end. Its shape is like the picture one imagines the Niraakaara (Formless) to be. As a matter of fact, linga means -leeyate (that in which all forms and names merge) and gamyate (that towards which all names and forms are proceeding, to attain fulfillment). It is the fittest symbol of the All-pervasive, the All-knowing, and the All- powerful. Everything is subsumed in it; everything starts from it; from the Lingam arises Jangam (Universe), from the Jangam arises sangam (association, attachment, activity) and as a result of the sangam, one realizes the lingam (attributeless Aatma). Thus, the circle is completed - from the Beginningless to the Beginningless. This is the lesson that Lingodbhavam (emergence of the Linga) teaches. The lingashareera (the physical body) that is inhabited by the Aatma is but a vesture worn for this particular sojourn! Many a vesture has this Soul worn, though its reality is Eternal!"H2H Gulab
  24. 24. 5. In His 1973 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Swami brings to our light the significance of the various names that Lord Shiva is adored with: “Consider the significance of the Form that Shiva has assumed for human adoration: In His throat, He has the holocaust-producing poison, Haalahaala that can destroy all life in a trice. On His head, He has the sacred Ganga River, whose waters can cure all ills, here and hereafter. On His forehead, He has the eye of Fire. On His head, He has the cool comforting Moon. On His wrists, ankles, shoulders and neck He wears deadly cobras, which live in life-giving breath of air.” One among the many of Lord Shiva’s Names is Mrithyunjaya. It means He who vanquishes...? A. Ego B. Anger C. GreedH2H D. Death Gulab
  25. 25. Correct Answer : D. Death Swami adds: "Shiva, again, is said to go about with a begging bowl. He teaches that renunciation, detachment, indifference to good fortune or bad, are the paths to attain Him. Shiva is known as Mrithyunjaya (He who vanquishes death). And, He is also the Kaamaari (the destroyer of Desire). These two Names show that he who destroys desire can conquer Death, for desire breeds activity, activity breeds consequence, consequence breeds bondage, bondage results in birth and birth involves death. Shiva means, Graciousness, Auspiciousness, Mangalam. He is all Graciousness, ever Auspicious, Sarva Mangalam."H2H Gulab
  26. 26. 6. In His 1978 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Swami reveals to us that: “Shivaraathri is a very auspicious day for all. It is the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight, when the Moon is waning and the Sun is in the sign of Aquarius. The festival is, however, related to the Moon rather than the Sun. That is the reason why it is called Shivaraathri (the night of Shiva). Unlike other nights, this particular night is the night of consecration, of dedication, of illumination.” Which part of human body is intimately associated with the Moon? A. Our Love filled Heart. B. Our Powerful Mind. C. Our Innately Pure Soul. D. Our God-gifted physical Body.H2H Gulab
  27. 27. Correct Answer : B. Our Powerful Mind. Swami reiterates: "The mind is intimately associated with the Moon. Chandra (the deity of the Moon), is the presiding deity of the mind. He loses one sixteenth of his brilliance every day after the Full Moon day and continues waning until on this night he is left with just one sixteenth of his power. The waned Moon may be taken to stand for the mind with all its vagaries and waywardness reduced after it has been conquered by sadhana (spiritual discipline). On this night there is just a minute part of the mind left to be conquered and that can be done by keeping vigil and dwelling on the Glow of God."H2H Gulab
  28. 28. 7. In His 1978 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, once again, Swami reveals a very interesting aspect to the meaning of the word „Shivaraathri‟ itself! He says: “According to numerology, the first three syllables of the word Shivaraathri - shi, va and raa - connote the numbers 5, 4 and 2, and the fourth syllable, thri, means three. 5, 4 and 2 make one whole, one composite picture of the eleven rudras. Rudra means, „The one who makes man weep.‟ The eleven rudras are: the five senses of perception, the five senses of action, and the mind. These, by leading him astray in pursuit of trivial and transitory pleasures, ruin him and make him weep. But the ____, if it is sought and relied upon, sheds its rays on the eleven and makes them meaningful partners in the progress of man towards self-realization.” What is Bhagavan teaching us to rely on here? A. Righteousness B. Heart C. Goodness D. Aatma (Soul)H2H Gulab
  29. 29. Correct Answer : D. Aatma (Soul) Swami reconfirms: "The rays from the Aatma illumine the intelligence, the illumined intelligence alerts the mind and the alerted mind gets control of the senses, making the path clear for the person to proceed through knowledge to wisdom."H2H Gulab
  30. 30. 8. In His 1978 Divine Discourse, clarifying some of the doubts ofdevotees, Swami says: “You might ask, „Swami has often declaredthat all days are holy days, that there is no special rite or ritual thathas to be observed on any single day; but, Swami Himself ispouring vibhuuthi (holy ash) on the Idol and calling it abhisheka(anointing the idol); is this right?‟ Swami is doing so, to teach youa lesson.The Vibhuti Abhisheka has a potent inner meaning which Swamiwants you to grasp. The Vibhuti is the most precious object, in thetruly spiritual sense. You know that Shiva burnt the God of Desireor Kaama, called Manmatha (for he agitates the mind andconfounds the confusion already existing there) into a heap ofashes. Shiva adorned Himself with that ash, and thus He shone inHis Glory, as the Conqueror of Desire. When Kaama wasdestroyed, ___ reigned supreme.” A. Peace B. Unity C. LoveWhat was He referring to? D. Non-ViolenceH2H Gulab
  31. 31. Correct Answer : C. Love Swami guides us further with His Divine Knowledge: "When Kaama was destroyed, Prema (Love) reigned supreme. When there is no desire to warp the mind, Love could be true and full. What greater offering can you give God to glorify Him than the ash signifying your triumph over tantalizing Desire? Ash is the ultimate condition of things; it cannot undergo any further change. The Abhisheka with Vibhuuthi is done to inspire you to give up desire and offer Shiva the ashes of its destruction as the most valuable of all the articles you have earned. Ash cannot fade as flowers do in a day or two; it does not dry and disappear or get soiled and unpotable as water does; it will not lose colour as leaves do, in a few hours; it does not rot as fruits do in a few days. Ash is ash for ever and ever. So, burn your vices, and your bad habits; worship Shiva, rendering yourselves pure in thought, word and deed."H2H Gulab
  32. 32. 9. In order to develop purity and sacredness in us, Swami has been guiding us tirelessly! On one such 1985 Divine Shivaraathri Discourse, Swami helps us achieve this goal: “This Shivaraathri is a day when one tries to establish friendship between mind and God. Shivaraathri makes one aware of the fact that the same Divinity is all-pervasive and is to be found everywhere. It is said that Shiva lives in Kailasa. But where is Kailasa?” What answer did Swami give us? A. In the Himalayas. B. In our own state of bliss. C. In service to mankind. D. In observing spiritual discipline.H2H Gulab
  33. 33. Correct Answer : B. In our own state of bliss. Swami helps us learn the true meaning of Kailasa: "Kailasa is our own joy, our own bliss. It means that Easwara lives in the Kailasa of delight. If we can develop that sense of joy and delight in our mind, that itself is Kailasa. How can one get this joy? It comes when we develop purity and steadiness and sacredness. Then the heart becomes filled with peace and bliss. Then your heart itself will be Kailasa and Shiva will be there in the sanctum sanctorum of your heart, within the temple which is your body."H2H Gulab
  34. 34. 10. Swami has taught us that if during Shivaraathri, one meditates on God, one can achieve nearness to the Divine. The Supreme sacredness of Shivaraathri consists in realizing oneness with the Divine through meditation on God. The world may change, but the Shiva principle is unchanging. The same union of Shiva-Shakti as the Universal Divine Mother and Father is represented by the Name and Form of Sai Baba. On revealing the meaning of the worship of Shiva, according to Swami, what is the most sublime aspect of the night of Shiva raathri? A. Lord Shivas Auspiciousness. B. Lord Shivas Uniqueness. C. Lord Shivas Immortality. D. Lord Shivas Transcendental Nature.H2H Gulab
  35. 35. Correct Answer : A. Lord Shivas Auspiciousness. In His 1983 Divine Shivaraatri Discourse, Swami has explained: "Whether one does good or bad acts, there is no escape from their consequences. Knowing this, our ancients always sought what was good and auspicious. This is the meaning of the worship of Shiva. When we speak of Shiva Raatri, we refer to the night that is associated with Shiva, that is, an auspicious night. Shivam means that which is auspicious. The Shiva principle is totally free from anything that is inauspicious or unholy in any circumstance. When incarnations like Rama and Krishna appear in human bodies, they have some inauspicious associations related to their bodies. Although they incarnate for the purpose of saving the world, protecting the devotees and uplifting humanity, they have to shed their bodies sometime or other. Hence in the name of such Avatars, the honorific Sri is prefixed to indicate the sacredness of their Advent. But for Shiva, no such appellation is needed because Shiva transcends corporeal limitations. Unlike Sri Rama or Sri Krishna there is no "Sri Shiva" or "Sri Shankara". Shiva or Shankara is always auspicious. The realization of oneness with Shiva means the attainment of immortality."H2H Gulab
  36. 36. H2H Gulab
  37. 37. SHIVARATHRI 2002H2H Gulab
  38. 38. H2H Gulab
  39. 39. Gulab
  40. 40. •The unclad body covered with ashes: the uncladbody symbolises the transcendental aspect of theLord. Since most things reduce to ashes whenburned, ashes symbolise the physical universe.The ashes on the unclad body of the Lord signifythat Shiva is the source of the entire universewhich emanates from Him, but He transcends thephysical phenomena and is not affected by it.•Matted locks: Lord Shiva is the Master of yoga.The three matted locks on the head of the Lordconvey the idea that integration of the physical,mental and spiritual energies is the ideal of yoga. Gulab
  41. 41. •Ganga: Ganga (river Ganges) is associated withHindu mythology and is the most sacred river ofHindus. According to tradition, one who bathes inGanga (revered as Mother Ganga) in accordancewith traditional rites and ceremonies on religiousoccasions in combination with certain astrologicalevents, is freed from sin and attains knowledge,purity and peace. Ganga, symbolicallyrepresented on the head of the Lord by a female(Mother Ganga) with a jet of water emanatingfrom her mouth and falling on the ground,signifies that the Lord destroys sin, removesignorance, and bestows knowledge, purity andpeace on the devotees. Gulab
  42. 42. •The crescent moon: is shown on the sideof the Lords head as an ornament, and notas an integral part of His countenance. Thewaxing and waning phenomenon of themoon symbolizes the time cycle throughwhich creation evolves from the beginningto the end. Since the Lord is the EternalReality, He is beyond time. Thus, thecrescent moon is only one of Hisornaments, and not an integral part of Him. Gulab
  43. 43. •Three eyes: Lord Shiva, also calledTryambaka Deva (literally, "three-eyedLord"), is depicted as having three eyes: thesun is His right eye, the moon the left eyeand fire the third eye. The two eyes on theright and left indicate His activity in thephysical world. The third eye in the centerof the forehead symbolises spiritualknowledge and power, and is thus calledthe eye of wisdom or knowledge. Like fire,the powerful gaze of Shivas third eyeannihilates evil, and thus the evil-doers fearHis third eye. Gulab
  44. 44. •Half-open eyes: when the Lord opens Hiseyes, a new cycle of creation emerges andwhen He closes them, the universedissolves for creation of the next cycle. Thehalf-open eyes convey the idea that creationis going through cyclic process, with nobeginning and no end. Lord Shiva is theMaster of Yoga, as He uses His yogic powerto project the universe from Himself. Thehalf-open eyes also symbolize His yogicposture. Gulab
  45. 45. •Kundalas (two ear rings): two Kundalas,Alakshya (meaning "which cannot beshown by any sign") and Niranjan(meaning "which cannot be seen by mortaleyes") in the ears of the Lord signify thatHe is beyond ordinary perception. Sincethe kundala in the left ear of the Lord is ofthe type used by women and the one in Hisright ear is of the type used by men, theseKundalas also symbolise the Shiva andShakti (male and female) principle ofcreation. Gulab
  46. 46. •Snake around the neck: sages have usedsnakes to symbolize the yogic power ofLord Shiva with which He dissolves andrecreates the universe. Like a yogi, a snakehoards nothing, carries nothing, buildsnothing, lives on air alone for a long time,and lives in mountains and forests. Thevenom of a snake, therefore, symbolisesthe yogic power. Gulab
  47. 47. •A snake (Vasuki Naga): is shown curled threetimes around the neck of the Lord and islooking towards His right side. The three coilsof the snake symbolise the past, present andfuture - time in cycles. The Lord wearing thecurled snake like an ornament signifies thatcreation proceeds in cycles and is timedependent, but the Lord Himself transcendstime. The right side of the body symbolizes thehuman activities based upon knowledge,reason and logic. The snake looking towardsthe right side of the Lord signifies that theLords eternal laws of reason and justicepreserve natural order in the universe. Gulab
  48. 48. •Rudraksha necklace: Rudra is another name ofShiva. Rudra also means "strict oruncompromising" and aksha means "eye."Rudraksha necklace worn by the Lord illustratesthat He uses His cosmic laws firmly - withoutcompromise - to maintain law and order in theuniverse. The necklace has 108 beads whichsymbolize the elements used in the creation ofthe world.•Varda Mudra: the Lords right hand is shown ina boon- bestowing and blessing pose. As statedearlier, Lord Shiva annihilates evil, grants boons,bestows grace, destroys ignorance, and awakenswisdom in His devotees. Gulab
  49. 49. •Trident (Trisula): a three-pronged tridentshown adjacent to the Lord symbolises Histhree fundamental powers (shakti) of will(iccha), action (kriya) and knowledge(jnana). The trident also symbolises theLords power to destroy evil and ignorance. Gulab
  50. 50. •Damaru (drum): a small drum with twosides separated from each other by a thinneck-like structure symbolises the twoutterly dissimilar states of existence,unmanifest and manifest. When a damaruis vibrated, it produces dissimilar soundswhich are fused together by resonance tocreate one sound. The sound thus producedsymbolizes Nada, the cosmic sound ofAUM, which can be heard during deepmeditation. According to Hindu scriptures,Nada is the source of creation. Gulab
  51. 51. •Kamandalu: a water pot (Kamandalu)made from a dry pumpkin contains nectarand is shown on the ground next to Shiva.The process of making Kamandalu hasdeep spiritual significance. A ripe pumpkinis plucked from a plant, its fruit is removedand the shell is cleaned for containing thenectar. In the same way, an individual mustbreak away from attachment to the physicalworld and clean his inner self of egoisticdesires in order to experience the bliss ofthe Self, symbolised by the nectar in theKamandalu. Gulab
  52. 52. •Nandi: the bull is associated with Shivaand is said to be His vehicle. The bullsymbolises both power and ignorance. LordShivas use of the bull as a vehicle conveysthe idea that He removes ignorance andbestows power of wisdom on His devotees.The bull is called Vrisha in Sanskrit. Vrishaalso means dharma (righteousness). Thus abull shown next to Shiva also indicates thatHe is the eternal companion ofrighteousness. Gulab
  53. 53. •Tiger skin: a tiger skin symbolisespotential energy. Lord Shiva, sitting on orwearing a tiger skin, illustrates the ideathat He is the source of the creative energythat remains in potential form during thedissolution state of the universe. Of Hisown Divine Will, the Lord activates thepotential form of the creative energy toproject the universe in endless cycles. Gulab
  54. 54. •Cremation ground: Shiva sitting inthe cremation ground signifies that Heis the controller of death in thephysical world. Since birth and deathare cyclic, controlling one impliescontrolling the other. Thus, Lord Shivais revered as the ultimate controller ofbirth and death in the phenomenalworld. Gulab
  55. 55. Gulab
  56. 56. The significance of the Nataraja(Nataraj) sculpture is said to be thatShiva is shown as the source of allmovement within the cosmos,represented by the arch of flames. Shiva as NatarajaThe purpose of the dance is to release menfrom illusion of the idea of the "self" and of thephysical world. The gestures of the dancerepresent Shivas five activities, creation(symbolized by the drum), protection (by the"fear not" hand gesture), destruction (by thefire), embodiment (by the foot planted on theground), and release (by the foot held aloft). Gulab
  57. 57. •The upper right hand holds a small drumshaped like an hourglass that is called aamaru in Sanskrit. It is called Udukkaiin Tamil . A specific hand gesture(mudra) called amaru-hasta (Sanskritfor "amaru-hand") is used to hold thedrum.It symbolises sound originating Creation. Gulab
  58. 58. •The upper left hand contains Agni or fire,which signifies destruction. The opposingconcepts in the upper hands show thecounterpoise of creation and destruction. Gulab
  59. 59. Gulab
  60. 60. •The second right hand shows the Abhaya mudra(meaning fearlessness in Sanskrit), bestowingprotection from both evil and ignorance to thosewho follow the righteousness of dharma. Gulab
  61. 61. •The second left hand points towards the raised footwhich signifies upliftment and salvation. The handalso symbolises the trunk of the elephant-headedGanesha, son of Shiva, known as the remover ofobstacles and a symbol of strength. Gulab
  62. 62. •His uplifted left foot, grants eternal bliss to those who approach him. The other foot treads firmly upon the dwarf of ignorance, allowing the birth of knowledge. Gulab
  63. 63. •The dwarf on which Nataraja dances is thedemon Apasmara, which symbolises Shivasvictory over ignorance. Gulab
  64. 64. •As the Lord of Dance, Nataraja, Shiva performsthe tandava, the dance in which the universe iscreated, maintained, and resolved. Shivas long,matted tresses, usually piled up in a knot, loosenduring the dance and crash into the heavenlybodies, knocking them off course or destroyingthem utterly. Gulab
  65. 65. •Nataraja wears a snake coiled around his upper armsand neck symbolising the power He has over the mostdeadly of creatures. Snakes are also used to symbolisethe Hindu dogma of reincarnation. Their naturalprocess of molting or shedding their skin is symbolicof the humansouls transmigration of bodies from onelife to another. Gulab
  66. 66. Gulab
  67. 67. Celebrating the Night of Lord Shiva…… THANK YOU Gulab
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